Best of Self Build & Renovation 2023: Award-Winning Homes, Architects & Designers

The Build It Awards is the UK’s most prestigious, independently-judged scheme celebrating the best of self build and renovation every year – read on to see our winning homes, architects and designers from the 2023 Awards
Articles by Build It magazine
by Build It magazine
9th January 2024

The Build It Awards, now in its 12th year, is the most coveted accolade in the self build industry, recognising the UK’s most innovative products, essential services, pioneering suppliers and awe-inspiring projects.

When it comes to specifying the very best on your project, our independent judging panel does the legwork for you – vetting every entry before deciding which deserves to make the prestigious shortlist.

Forget those flash-in-the-pan, social media-led popularity contests. Every Awards entry is scrutinised in depth and the winners have an expert-backed Build It Awards seal of approval that should give you, the self builder, real confidence when specifying architects, designers, products and services for your home building project.

Here we give you the run-down on our 2023 Build It Award-winning homes, architects and designers, with 14 awards going to projects from extensions and brick builds through to eco houses and ICF homes.

The Build It Awards 2023: Award-Winning Homes, Architects & Designers

Photo: Matthew Smith

Best Self Build or Renovation Project

Suzanne & Steve Richardson for their hands-on timber frame self build home

When it comes to new countryside homes, it doesn’t get much better than this! The design (by Matt Plummer of Cocoon Architects) was for a sleek, low-carbon house that would tread lightly on the landscape.

At the project’s heart is Frame Technologies’ TechVantage T timber frame, which achieves U-values from 0.13 to 0.09 W/m2K. The system uses breathable, 90% recycled glass wool insulation to create a highly sustainable structure.

The Richardsons commissioned the timber house shell on a supply-only basis, with Frame Technologies providing advice and video calls to enable Suzanne and her brother, John, to erect it themselves.

Category Sponsor Self-Build Zone

See the home


Best Self Build Architect for Design

Hyde + Hyde Architects for Castle High

Paul and Tracey Morris approached Hyde + Hyde in 2010, as their existing farmhouse – itself a 1950s replacement – was thermally inefficient and no longer fit for purpose. Central to the new design was to reframe the courtyard, creating a horseshoe floorplan with a contemporary wing that mirrors the existing outbuildings.

Best Self Build Architect for Support

Allister Godfrey Architects for Wunschhaus

When Hari and Jacqueline set out on the journey to create their dream home, they had a clear plan for what they wanted to achieve. This modern three-bedroom SIPs home, set back from the busy high street of one of the oldest villages in Britain, draws inspiration from historic layouts, forms and materials.




Best Architect or Designer for a Renovation or Conversion Project

Life Size Architecture for The Gate House

Set in the South Downs National Park and constructed in a distinctive late-Arts & Crafts mode, The Gate House is a historically significant asset. Life Size Architecture restored the structural timbers and added new glazed elements alongside a sympathetic rear extension to maximise light and views.


Best Architect or Designer for an Extension Project

Hyve Architects for Craigview

Spectacular detailing – both in Hyve Architects’ design and by the builder’s work on site – are key to this project’s success. The scheme pushes the extension out towards the coast, with the roof sloping upwards toward the building’s frameless corner, drawing the eye out towards the sea.

Category Sponsor IDSystems

Best Timber Frame Home

AR Design Studio for Woodland House

Trevor and Tessa enlisted AR Design Studio, who came up with a house broken into three volumes: a two-storey central space flanked by single-stor­ey wings. Timber frame was the perfect structural solution for this project, delivering an efficient build and low U-values to meet the owners’ goals for a fabric first, low-energy home.

Category Sponsor Protek


Best Custom Build Model

Cairnrowan Custom Homes for Meldrum House Estate Development

Located in Aberdeenshire, Cairnrowan Homes is offering what one Awards judge referred to as “the custom build ideal.” The scheme’s masterplan recognises the landscape, heritage and biodiversity of the site, while giving buyers the freedom to create something unique to them, as part of a supported journey.


Best Oak Frame Home

Welsh Oak Frame for the Hiltons’ Home

Gary and Sue Hilton turned to Welsh Oak Frame to develop a detailed design for a traditional-style house that would satisfy strict planning conditions, while delivering a stylish and efficient new home with contemporary living spaces. The cottage-like house features a handmade brick finish and dormer windows.

Category Sponsor Stovax & Gazco


Best Self Build Under £300k­­

KAST Architects for St Elowyns Barn

Kast Architects masterminded this sensitive reimagining of a traditional stone dwelling nestled into a valley overlooking the north Cornish coastline. The project involved building a sensitive new timber frame house within the boundaries of an old barn, which retains the original stone wall and is clad in charred larch.

Best ICF Home

Sandalcroft Construction for The Wild Garden

Enveloped in Cotswold stone and topped with a contemporary zinc roof, this house unfurls beautifully from its sloping site – a feature that informed the choice of ICF. Using a system supplied by Eco500, main contractor Sandalcroft Construction was able to get the ICF house shell weatherproof early on.


Best SIPs Home

Ecologic SIPs for Willen Farm

Featuring wide spans and impressive volumes, the design by Raise Architects leant itself to SIPs. Ecologic has made the most of the system, from an efficient layout of panels through to easily creating vaulted ceilings and roof spaces. The used glulam engineered timber to frame the triangular apex windows.


Best Brick Home

Lapd Architects for The Orchard

Owners Simon and Sally were keen to create a timeless, efficient home blending traditional and contemporary features. A masonry scheme, designed by Lapd Architects, was chosen as it would offer very good thermal mass and predictable internal temperatures.

Best Eco Home

GreenTrace Architect for Hazel Tree House

GreenTrace Architect’s modest yet vibrant design has a simple rectangular footprint and steeply pitched roof, constructed using an I-joist timber frame that’s packed with Warmcel recycled cellulose insulation and sandwiched between two layers of wood-fibre insulation.














Best Turnkey Home

Facit Homes for The Stables

Self builders Adrian and Tammy Connor wanted to downsize to a new home that would be more manageable and energy efficient. Having secured planning permission to replace some stables on their existing property, the couple enlisted Facit Homes to take their project from concept to completion.

The Build It Awards 2023: Sponsors & Judges

We would like to say thank you to all of our sponsors of the Build It Awards 2023, and our headline sponsor BuildStore.

Category sponsors: Self-Build Zone, Frame Technologies, Protek, IDSystems, Stovax.

General sponsors: Insulating Concrete Framework Association, The NaCSBA, The NSBRC.

Our Judges: Chris Batesmith, Jane Duncan, Mike Hardwick, Nigel Griffiths, Julian Owen, Tom McSherry, Calum Taylor, David Hilton.

Find out more about the Build It Awards by visiting the Build It Awards Website.

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